What is the stew of your life?
December 27, 2010 1:57 PM   Subscribe

What is the most unfathomably good stew-like dish you've ever had, specifically during cold weather?

I am looking for the BEST stew-class substance known to man. Meat or vegetarian (Beef? Chicken? Bean? Pork? Barley? Mushrooms? Lentils?), with or without starches (Potatoes? Noodles? Rice? Dumplings?), anything is fair game so long as you have a recipe. Bowl or plate, spoon or fork, healthy or decadent--anything that's some solids in some (eventually) thick liquids with a bit of slow cooking.

I know the internet is covered in stew recipes, but we're entertaining tomorrow night and the wife has suggested a stew--I'm sure there's some incredibly awesome stew recipe lurking out there, but I don't know it and I'd rather not choose at random. Have you ever had a stew so good it's the only thing you remember about a particular evening? So good you fell in love with the chef? So good it became a foundational moment, defining the rest of your life as the fulcrum that steered you to your current place in the world? A stew from which you recoiled--not in horror, but in shock and awe?

Do tell. (...me the recipe.)

1. <$30 total ingredient cost
2. <2hrs supervised cook time
3. serves ~4
4. good for cold weather
5. works as a complete meal/complete with complementary starch
posted by Phyltre to Food & Drink (59 answers total) 234 users marked this as a favorite
Getting a good stew in under 2 hours may be a little tough.

I absolutely love all of the following:
Chile verde

or a good beef bourgignon
posted by TheBones at 2:02 PM on December 27, 2010

For me, nothing beats a pot of thick bean stew cooked with smoked ham hocks til the meat falls off the bone, served with fresh corn bread.

The Cook's Illustrated beef stew recipe is also pretty good. (Here's a similar version that hits the main differences between it and most beef stew recipes: anchovies, salt pork, and gelatin).
posted by jedicus at 2:03 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I grew up eating жаркое/zharkoye, which is a type of Russian roast/stew. This recipe seems about right, although my mom never served it with sour cream. (However, it is a rare hot Russian dish to which a big dollop of sour cream isn't optional.) The recipe is god-knows-how-old and isn't standardized, so if you search around with the name, you can find a variation you'll enjoy.
posted by griphus at 2:07 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Getting a good stew in under 2 hours may be a little tough.

Mostly I'm just concerned with getting home at 5pm, then having someone ready for dinner at 6. If I need to throw something in the slowcooker that morning, or do some pre-cooking tonight, that's also doable, it's just that there won't be a lot of supervised cook time on a weeknight (which I'm guessing is a pretty universal thing.)
posted by Phyltre at 2:07 PM on December 27, 2010

Beef bourgignon, for sure. Stir to prevent flour from lumping, and generous with the red wine.
posted by mozhet at 2:09 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

There are so many. If any particular standouts occur to me I'll post, but I just wanted to chime in to say that you are right to be doing this survey today, because almost all of these types of foods are better the next day. (The exceptions involve seafood, like the cioppino suggested above.)

Beef bourguignon is a classic for a reason. The Julia Child version got famous when they made a fuss over it in that terrible Julie/Julia movie, but simplified versions are wonderful as well and take very little supervised cooking.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:10 PM on December 27, 2010

This Andean Bean Stew from the NYTimes Recipes for Health can easily be made in under two hours supervised cooking time. It's good enough the first night, but tastes best reheated the next day.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:17 PM on December 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

Brisket was the base for our Christmas dinner. Modified substantially from Epicurious, this procedure is less a stew than a braise, but with more or less liquid and vegetation, you can really take this in several different directions:

Brown 5-6 pounds of beef brisket in a dutch oven. Remove, add 3 or more onions, chopped roughly, plus 3 cloves garlic (peeled & roughly chopped). Reduce heat and cook until soften and onions are golden, then stir in a half tablespoon of tomato paste, a teaspoon of paprika (smoked, if possible), salt & pepper to taste (I go with 1/2 teaspoon each), and as many peeled and thick-cut carrots as you like. Add the meat back in, plus 3 cups of beef broth and a small amount of red wine (1/4 cup) if you have it, then place in a 375 degree oven for 3.5 hours. Cook with lid slightly ajar, add water as needed if it gets too dry.

Chill and defat overnight, and reheat the next day and adjust seasoning for maximum deliciousness. The meat should be falling apart - so you can try to slice it, or you can pull it apart completely and spoon the sauce/gravy over it with the vegetables.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:19 PM on December 27, 2010

I make this green chile stew fairly often. Best with fresh or frozen, of course, but if you don't have that then canned will do. I usually put less than a full 2 lb of chile.

I omit the potatoes and serve over rice. I also prefer the texture of poached chicken to that of sauteed, which adds some time to the recipe. (It's made up by not having to wait til the potatoes are tender.) I don't use kitchen bouquet because I can't find it.
posted by sugarfish at 2:22 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I love this stew... I've made it four or five times, everyone loves it...and it's great the second day as well....follow the recipe to the letter (no matter how odd it seems). It is simple, easy to make and delicious....

Jammin' Beef Stew
posted by HuronBob at 2:25 PM on December 27, 2010

Nigella Lawson's Lamb and Date tagine - serve with couscous. I have made the same recipe with venison as well, which was delicious!

And Karen Martini's Syrian Chicken with ginger, lemon and saffron - this one is always very popular and somehow seems like it should have been more difficult to make. I do it in the slow cooker with chicken thighs; I do all the steps up until where it says "Return chicken to pan" on the stove stop and then put everything in the slowcooker. But the original recipe cooks in under an hour.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:36 PM on December 27, 2010 [6 favorites]

I made this over the weekend, and it was AMAZING. It required a full 14 hours of slow-cook time, so you'll need to start tonight:

5 lbs beef roast
1 package celery, cut to stalks
1 package baby carrots
1 package frozen pearl onions
3-4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
Chicken boullion, made into broth

Cover the bottom of your slow-cooker with the celery stalks and baby carrots. Put in your beef. Then layer the potatoes and onions on top. Pour as much chicken broth as is needed to completely cover to the top. Set on HIGH for 3 hours. After 3 hours, set on LOW. Leave overnight.

In the morning, separate out the solid from the liquid, using a strainer. Put them in separate containers in the fridge while you are at work. Unplug your slow-cooker.

When you get home, the liquid in your fridge will have a layer of fat at the top, solidified. Remove it. (You can save this to fry up things in beef-fat, or feed it to your dog, or throw it away... just don't put it down the drain.)

Put the solids back into the slowcooker, and pour the now-defatted liquid on top carefully. Turn the slow-cooker back on to HIGH until your dinner guests arrive.
posted by juniperesque at 2:38 PM on December 27, 2010

Why not try something a little spicier and go for a beef rendang? It sounds like a lot of work but it's only a few minutes of prepping and the rest of the time stewing gently and the only other thing you've got to make is some rice. If you can't be bothered with all the fiddly ingredients, just use a can or packet of pre-made mix. Toasting the coconut not only thickens the stew but makes your house smell delicious. Any cut of beef will work - use a slightly less chewy one if time is short, but leave a little bit of fat on.

Disclaimer: may require Asian grocery store.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:39 PM on December 27, 2010

I hate a lot of stews because they're very one-note, using tough, earthy meats that need long slow cooking along with earthy root vegetables and something brown and, you know, earthy. Beef stew is my idea of dinner hell.

What a revelation it was when I discovered that kumquats can be part of a stew! Bright and tart and tasty alongside the meat and savory sauce. Moroccan chicken with kumquats and prunes.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:42 PM on December 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

I make beef stew fairly often, but the times I've made it with ras al hanout, it's been outstanding. I don't really follow recipes (sorry), but here's the gist:

Toss some stew meat in a couple tablespoons of flour, mixed with a teaspoon of ras al hanout, salt, and pepper. (I make my own.) Brown the meat in a dutch oven. When the meat is seared on all sides, remove to a plate.

In the same pan, saute a minced onion and carrot, along with several minced cloves of garlic, and another teaspoon of ras al hanout. When vegetables are soft, deglaze with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of red wine. Reduce wine by half. Add meat back in, along with its juices. Cover with beef stock. Add one peeled russet potato, cut into large chunks. (This will thicken the sauce later.)

You can do two things here -- bring to a boil, turn off heat, cool, and put in the fridge if you want to have this for dinner tomorrow night. Or, you can just continue on with:

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour or 90 minutes. When very tender, remove the potato and reserve. When meat begins to get tender, add the vegetables of your choice. (I go for root veggies: onions, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, potatoes.) Mash the reserved potato with enough liquid from the stew to make a thick paste. Make sure there are no lumps. Add paste to stew and bring to a boil to thicken. Add golden raisins or chopped dried apriocts if desired. Taste for seasoning. Add more ras al hanout if necessary.

Serve over cous cous.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:45 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Squash/tofu curry, or chicken panang -- something Thai with coconut milk, then poured over jasmine rice.
posted by Madamina at 2:46 PM on December 27, 2010

Here's my favorite: Beef ribs in Guinness.

First, open a Guinness and drink it. Then, take 1lb (or more depending on mouths) of boneless beef ribs that you have liberally salted and peppered and sear them for five minutes or so in a pot that has a lid. Then remove and deglaze w/ a small amount of Guinness. Throw the ribs back into the pot with 14 to 20 oz of Guinness, 4 to 6 cloves of whole peeled garlic and a large onion chopped into quarters and a bay leaf. Cover the pot and place in a 275 degree oven until the meat is falling apart, about 2 1/2 hours (use this time to drink more Guinness). Then with a slotted spoon remove the meat, onions and bay leaf (the garlic will have disintegrated). Bring the remaining liquid to a boil and reduce by about a quarter to 1/2. To this reduction make a gravy by adding the thickening agent of your choice (I make a roux w/ butter and flour).

Serve the ribs along with the onions and some mashed potatoes with plenty of the gravy spooned over the whole mess and a fresh glass of Guinness (if you have any left).

The beauty of this recipe, and stews in general, is that you don't really have to be precise about measurements, just add what you think is good at the time.
posted by greasy_skillet at 2:55 PM on December 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

Beef Doube Procencal is one of my favorite stew recipes. I make it all the time, and I have served it to guests. It usually takes 2 - 2.5 hours in the oven, but the recipe includes directions for using a slowcooker too. The stew develops a great, rich flavor thanks to the wine. I like to serve it over egg noodles with a green salad on the side.
posted by geeky at 3:00 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I make stew at least once a month, because it's so easy and so tasty and there's almost zero supervised cook time. I hate standing around in the kitchen watching pots. And it's great aromatherapy! Makes the house smell delicious. I also don't use any particular measurements, but more or less of any of these ingredients should work fine depending on your taste.

I take about a pound and a half of stewing beef and just brown the pieces slightly in a pan, and that's the extent of the supervised cook time, which is about two minutes tops. You can even skip this step, but I've found over time that browning it a little bit first helps. Throw it in the crock pot and add:

A packet of onion soup mix;
A small (1-pound) package of baby carrots, cut into bite-size pieces if necessary;
A handful (4-5, more or less to taste, I use more) of small red potatoes, quartered/cut into bite-sized pieces (I don't peel them, just scrub them thoroughly);
Half a large red onion, or a whole small one, cut into bite-size pieces;
Some crushed red pepper to taste;
Some rosemary leaves to taste;
A lump of mild curry (I get mine in the "ethnic foods" section of the local Wal-Mart or other supermarket, and I love the touch of zing it adds to an otherwise kinda boring whitebread recipe).

Add enough water to just about cover it all, put on the lid and let it sit on medium/high heat in the crockpot and go to work for several hours. When you get home, add:

A package of white mushrooms, washed and sliced;
Four or five stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces;
Three or four heaping tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with a little COLD water (it dissolves faster in cold) to thicken the stew. (I've always found it best to add the mushrooms and celery last; they always seemed to get too soggy if I threw them in at the beginning with everything else, but YMMV.)

Keep on heat until guests arrive, should serve at least four or five people at once. Great with warm bread and butter. Leftovers will be inexplicably even more delicious the next day.
posted by Gator at 3:13 PM on December 27, 2010 [8 favorites]

Will no one speak out of love for cassoulet? White beans with sausage and or duck, goose, chicken, pork, pancetta, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, wine and toasty, toasty breadcrumbs baked on top! There's a multitude of recipes available with lots of room for improvisation.
posted by Allee Katze at 3:15 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

My favorite ever stew is the Cuban dish Rabo Encendido.
You do have to marinate the meat overnight. The dish also reheats very well the next day.
posted by Muttoneer at 3:15 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

When I think of stew, I think of doenjang jjigae.

The stew is strongly miso-flavored, as it's made with fermented soy bean paste, but with some chili -- both in sliced and powdered form -- to go along with it. I like it with slices of potato, radish, strips of beef, and kimchi or kimchi cabbage. I hate tofu, but no self-respecting person makes Doenjang jjigae without tofu, so in it goes. Most Koreans also insist on adding bits of zucchini. Served with rice. Maangchi has a recipe, though it's a regional variation. This is a little better.

Requires access to Korean grocery store, but totally worth it.
posted by brina at 3:20 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is an old family favorite, although we always just called it Banana Stew.

Brazilian Beef

2 T butter
1 clove garlic, cut in pieces
2 lbs beef, cut in cubes
1 c chopped onion
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c water
1 t salt
dash pepper
1 small bay leaf
1/2 c apricot jam
1 t curry powder
2 oranges, in chunks
2 bananas, in chunks

Saute garlic in butter until golden; discard garlic. Add beef and brown. Add onion, lemon juice, water, salt, pepper, & bay leaf. Cover and simmer until meat is tender. (2-2.5 hours, depending on the cut.) Add jam and curry powder. Cook uncovered over low heat to thicken the sauce. Add oranges and bananas and heat.

Serve over rice cooked with apricot jam and toasted slivered almonds.

Given your time constraints, you could start the night before or use a slow-cooker to cook the stew (up until the point where you add the jam and curry powder), then finish it off before serving.
posted by DrGail at 3:20 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Will no one speak out of love for cassoulet?

I will, as it is easily the most amazing stew-like thing I've ever had. I even came in to mention it, then saw the time constraints.

If you're willing to go vegetarian, I have been making this sweet potato - lentil stew once a week and it's really yummy. It's fast, too - it needs an hour of cook time but after sauteing the onions you are just dumping everything in the pot. Instead of the spices listed here, I have been making my own berbere and using 1-2 tablespoons of it, depending on how spicy we want it. We don't do injera, but we sometimes top it with iab.
posted by cabingirl at 3:23 PM on December 27, 2010 [5 favorites]

I made this red lentil curry for my co-op two years ago, and I haven't really been allowed to make anything else since because everyone keeps asking for that "awesome lentil thing." I sub brown sugar for white and double the spices. It's kick-ass as is, but feel free to toss in diced carrots, potatoes and/or sweet potatoes, shredded spinach or other greens, or any other vegetable currently taking up space in your refrigerator.

Bonus: it takes less than an hour to throw together. Serve with rice, naan, or toasted pita.
posted by rebekah at 3:26 PM on December 27, 2010 [9 favorites]

My late grandmother's beef stew was the best I've ever eaten. The ingredients were typical: big cubes of beef (maybe brisket?), potatoes, onions, celery. The only things I recall about her technique were that she browned the beef before stewing, and that she'd thicken the broth with flour when it was done. The secret ingredient, though, was a liberal application of sweet red wine.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:47 PM on December 27, 2010

Nthing cassoulet, but you can do this one in the two supervised hours today and serve it tomorrow (it is better the second day): Carbonnade.
posted by jet_silver at 3:48 PM on December 27, 2010

my mom makes a really great chili-esque stew with sausage (the one that comes packaged in qty 1 and bent into a teardrop shape. but i'm guessing that those pure beef, nitrate-free ones that oscar meyer sells would be just as tasty), coarsely chopped tomato and onion, green peppers, kidney beans, cumin, black pepper and probably some other stuff. You basically just let is all simmer in the juice of the tomato (you can add tomato sauce/paste if you want to make it more sauce-y) and eat it atop some rice. We use white rice cooker rice.
posted by joyeuxamelie at 3:56 PM on December 27, 2010

oh, common sense prolly, but you need to slice the sausage.
posted by joyeuxamelie at 3:57 PM on December 27, 2010

Moosewood Groundnut Stew is hearty vegetarian deliciousness. Like many stews it gets even better on subsequent days. Yom.

Also, in my family we have a dish misnomered as "Turkey Chili". It's fall down easy, pretty cheap and delicious.

Brown some ground turkey with a bit of olive oil. Press in some garlic. Sauté in half an onion. Dump in a can of diced tomatoes, a can of white beans, a can of kidney beans, a can of black beans, and a can of white shoepeg corn. Add a bay leave and whatever spices you have around. Simmer for as long as you care to.

We've made it without turkey, and it's great. We've added any number of cans of stuff that we have around (veg-all, soup, garbanzos, etc), and it's always good. We added broth for a while, now we mostly don't. We had a fancy jar of poultry seasoning that we'd sprinkle in for a while, and that was good too.

Serve with grated cheese and saltines. Like it was actually chili.

It's basically a shifting recipe for thick soup made with a few cans of beans and whatever else you have handy. Yom!!
posted by dirtdirt at 4:14 PM on December 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

Around this time of year I get all kinds of salivary spasms thinking about two things: 1) eating turkey one day, and 2) turkey jook the next. Stewed leftover turkey carcass is one of the greatest cold-weather soupy/stewy meals ever. It's not very fancy but darn it's a helluva thing to shovel steaming spoonfuls down your gullet after coming in from the cold. But you do need a leftover turkey carcass, so I guess you can skip this or save it until you have one.

1 Carcass of a cooked turkey, with some meat and skin left (I try to leave a good amount of dark meat on the bone when I carve it the day before. Roasted turkey by default, but fried turkey works just as well, if not better.)
4 quarts water
2 cups washed medium- or long-grain rice (jasmine rice is okay)
1 inch of peeled fresh ginger, sliced into 4ths, bruised
2 cups chopped cabbage (bok choy, won bok, mustard, whatever)
2 teaspoons sea (kosher) salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
Chopped, fresh cilantro for garnish

Put the turkey and water in a large pot and bring to a boil for approx. 5 minutes; skim off the crud that rises to the top. Reduce heat and simmer for around 15 minutes, then add the rice. Bring back to a boil (stir occasionally) then add the ginger and cabbage. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 3 hours. You may have to stir every now and then as it thickens to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom.

Remove the bones (and skin, if you're against that sort of thing). Add the salt and pepper, then simmer for about 30 minutes. The consistency should be a bit soupier than porridge. Add the cilantro as a garnish before eating.

You can also add chopped shiitake mushrooms or black fungus (if there's a grocery around that has that sort of thing) while it's simmering.

The above recipe should make about 3 qts, which is fine for 4 people but not enough for the winter. Which is why, if someone cooks a turkey, I will unabashedly request the carcass then freeze it until I can get it into a jook pot. The cost can be less than $10 (if you factor in the sunk cost of the previous turkey dinner), but the cooking does require some supervision (minimal, but necessary). You can speed things up by subbing a can (14.5oz) of chicken broth for 1 of the qts of water.
posted by krippledkonscious at 4:15 PM on December 27, 2010

I've recently make this Lamb, Lentil and Mint soup which thickens up more like a stew, and it was great! Don't skimp on the mint and be sure to buy some crusty bread to butter up and dip in the remainder, it's a fantastic warm comfort food. You can substitute other types of meat for ground lamb if lamb isn't your thing.
posted by Asherah at 4:17 PM on December 27, 2010

Korean kimchi chiggae with sujaebi


Korean maeun-tang after raw fish & san-nakji (live small octopus)

posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:32 PM on December 27, 2010

Pozole. Easy, aromatic, and warming.
posted by bricoleur at 5:01 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

I just made a very nice Irish stew, after Darina Allen's recipe:

2-1/2 pounds lamb chops
5 carrots
5 medium onions
4-6 potatoes
2-1/2 cups water or stock
salt, pepper, and thyme

Trim the fat from the lamb chops. Peel and quarter the onions. Peel and cut the carrots into biggish chunks. Peel a couple of the potatoes, and cut into halves (or quarters if they're big; but only peel just two, save the others back a minute).

Heat the chunks of fat from the lamb chops over a low flame in a big stew pot, until the chunks of fat render all the liquid fat out. You'll be left with some brown solid bits; throw those out, and leave the rendered fat in the pot. Brown the lamb chops just a little in the rendered fat; set aside. Toss the onions and carrots in the rendered fat, and fish those out again.

Put a layer of lamb back into the pot, then sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Add a layer of onions and carrots, and more salt and pepper. Alternate layers of lamb and onion/carrot -- adding salt and pepper each time -- until it's all in. Pour in the stock or water until it JUST comes up level with the food in the pot. Then finish with a layer of the potatoes; if two potatoes weren't enough to fill out that layer, peel and halve/quarter another one or two until they do. Add another last bit of salt, pepper, and a shake of thyme. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and then cover and let simmer on your stove for about an hour.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:55 PM on December 27, 2010

Chicken and dumplings! It will stop your heart, but it's so good, and if you use chicken parts instead of a whole chicken, you can make it in under 2 hours. I use a recipe similar to this one, but I add carrot chunks and frozen peas.

If you're feeling ultra-lazy, you can make this with one of those pre-cooked rotisserie chickens from the grocery store deli. Ain't no shame in it and it's still delicious.
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 5:55 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Okay, I wasn't going to suggest this because it's really not fancy-party-fare. But if you're looking for a more casual stew, there's another Irish stew sort of thing that is AWESOME -- Dublin Coddle.

1/2 pound bacon
1 pound sausage
4 big potatoes
2 large onions
about 4 or 5 carrots
a small bunch of herbs - sage and thyme, combined
about 1-2 cups water, ham stock, or cider

Peel and slice the potatoes and onions. Peel the carrots and cut into chunks. Slice the bacon slices into squares. Brown the sausages and cut into chunks.

Layer the potatoes, onions, carrots, and bacon and sausage in a stew pot in alternating layers. Bury the herb sprigs, left whole, in the middle somewhere. Pour over the stock, water, or cider; add a little salt and pepper, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and let simmer for about an hour.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:05 PM on December 27, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Burgundy Mushrooms. Probably not a main dish, unless you are all vegetarians, but my god it's the best side dish ever. And very rich and stew-like. (Of course, with the number of calories in each mushroom, it would fill you up as a main even if you only ate a spoonful!)
posted by lollusc at 6:23 PM on December 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

Paul Prudhomme's Sopa de Albondigas...I've had little kids come up to me and rave about it. It's meatball soup basically but his recipe from "Seasoned America" is stellar. I can scan and send it by memail if you'd like.
posted by Gusaroo at 6:30 PM on December 27, 2010

Some variation of the Oyster Stew. Should take less than a half-hour.

Oyster stew, outside of the coast(s?) was traditionally a winter-time meal as the cold weather allowed the importation of coastal oysters by train into the landlocked regions of North America without spoiling.
posted by porpoise at 6:37 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I made Oxtail Stew once (with real oxtail!) and it was a bit of a hassle (oxtails have lots of little bones and spiky bits so you have to basically paw through the stew with clean fingers, getting anything pokey out) but god damn that was the richest, beefiest, most delicious stew I've ever made. I didn't make it again because, after exclaiming over how great it was, my then-husband asked what it was and on being told "oxtail" he pushed it away in disgust (not that he was vegetarian or anything; he was just repulsed by the idea of eating any 'non standard' part of the animal). Some day I will make it again, just for me. Perhaps tomorrow.
posted by The otter lady at 7:09 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is one of my favorite Asian game stews/curries. It takes a while to cook, but it reheats well.

My translation and modification of a recipe from a Khmer cookbook that has no author details - my apologies to the original author for the lack of credit.

Despite the name, it's more a stew or curry than a stir-fry. It's fiercely hot and salty.

Spicy Stir Fried Wild Boar
Chrook Prai Cha Heul

Main Ingredients
Wild Boar, cut into cubes - 1 to 2 cups
Coriander/Cilantro leaf, finely torn - 1/2 cup
Lemongrass, tender young leaf only, finely sliced - 1/2 cup
Fish or Soy Sauce - 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Stock - 1/2 to 1 cup
Sugar - 2 teaspoons
Green Peppercorns on the stem - 1/2 cup
Oil - 2 cups

Spice Paste
Dried Chillies, deseeded and soaked to rehydrate, then chopped - 5
Dried Birdseye Chillies, deseeded and soaked to rehydrate, then chopped - 15
Fresh Birdseye Chillies, chopped - 15
Black Peppercorns - 10
Galangal, finely chopped - 1 tablespooon
Lemongrass stem, finely sliced - 1 teaspoon
Coriander Root, finely chopped - 1/2 tablespoon
Laksa Leaf (Persicaria odorata) - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seed - 1/2 teaspoon
Fine salt - 1/2 teaspoon.

Pound the spice paste ingredients in a mortar until fine.

Pour the oil into a wok and heat until hot. Fry the wild boar until browned. Do it in batches if necessary. Remove and drain.

Pour off all but two tablespoons of the oil, and reheat the wok to medium hot. Fry the spice paste until fragrant.

Return the wild boar to the wok. Stir fry and toss to coat with the paste. Then add the sugar and fish sauce and stir fry to combine. Add the stock.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat, then simmer gently until the meat is tender and the oil has come out of the meat. If it starts to dry out too much, put a lid on, or add a little more stock.

Add the green peppercorns, coriander and lemongrass leaf. Toss briefly to combine.

Serve with rice and a salad or two.

Note : you really need your own lemongrass plant for this. Anything except the youngest freshest leaves will be too tough and fibrous. If you can't get young leaf, substitute lemongrass stem pulsed to a floss in a food processor.
posted by Ahab at 8:01 PM on December 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

If you are making a stew with tofu in it, definitely try this:
  1. freeze tofu (firm or extra-firm works best for this)
  2. thaw tofu
  3. squeeze all the water out of the tofu. The tofu will now look like a sponge
  4. Cook stew as normal
The spongelike qualities of frozen-thawed tofu are really excellent for winter stews. It has a crumbly, meaty texture and completely absorbs the flavor of anything it's added to.

An extremely simple stew is just carrots (3-4), potatoes (3-4 medium), one container thawed tofu, and onions (1 large or 2 small) all cut into chunks/cubes. Brown onions (add 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic depending on your love of garlic), then carrots, then potatoes, then tofu in a couple of tablespoons of oil, then add one large can of diced or crushed tomatoes plus one large can of water (or a little more if needed to just cover the vegetables). Season with your favorite herbs and spices, salt, and black pepper. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the carrots and potatoes are at your desired level of tenderness (ideally, at least fork tender but I'd cook it until the potatoes started to fall apart a bit). All of these measurements are approximate, add whatever vegetables you love. I'm pretty sure this stew should be done fairly quickly -- probably under an hour?
posted by Deathalicious at 8:25 PM on December 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

Super easy and very tasty:
In the morning- Mix together in crock pot 1 can French Onion soup, one can Cream of Mushroom soup.
Add one package beef stew meat and stir it all together.
Cook on Low all day.
About an hour before dinner time, make a package of egg noodles. Drain and add to the crock pot. You now have delicious beef and noodles.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:10 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


1 bunch beets, with greens
3-4 big potatoes
3-4 big carrots

grate all of the above, including the beet greens (if you have a food processor, this is super easy) and put into a large pot, add just enough water to wet everything.

flavour with salt and paprika, and if you can get smoked paprika, that's really good. I like to cook it with sliced tofurkey sausage to make it vegetarian, but my mom will make it with either a smoked turkey leg, or some other smoked meat.

bring to a low boil and simmer until the potatoes are soft - 30 - 45 minutes

add a big dollop of sour cream when serving. A nice loaf of crusty bread and butter would be a nice compliment. It's a really rich-tasting stew, and it looks fantastic - the colour is amazing.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:11 AM on December 28, 2010

Jamie Oliver's sweet leek and turkey pie (doesn't have to be made with leftovers) is very simple, tastes very rich, and is finished in under 2 hours.
posted by Cuppatea at 3:52 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Pozole fills this bill for me.
posted by OmieWise at 5:37 AM on December 28, 2010

Schnitz un Knepp is absolutely marvelous. Ham, apples, dumplings...just wonderful. Here's a sample recipe--in the past, I've cut the ham in chunks and used fresh apples to cut the cookie time, and it still turns out wonderfully.

Or you could go with a pork and apple stew.
posted by Tall Telephone Pea at 6:23 AM on December 28, 2010

Oops, cookie = cooking.
posted by Tall Telephone Pea at 6:24 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cypriot Pork and Coriander Stew is amazingly good.
posted by onhazier at 7:00 AM on December 28, 2010

I love stew-type things with biscuits on top or mashed potatoes on the bottom. My two faves are:

Leek and Bean Cassoulet from Veganomicon I would recommend a different biscuit recipe on this one -- I could taste the shortening in these, but the stew itself was delicious.


Tempeh Mushroom Stew on a Mashed Potato Base from The Single Vegan

There's another biscuit covered one in The Single Vegan, but the name is escaping me right now.

(Weirdly, I am not vegan, but these recipes are GOOOD. )
posted by pixiecrinkle at 7:14 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Similar to ImproviseOrDie's answer, I always make this Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie during the cold months, and it is truly amazing. The raisins and olives provide a nice sweetness and tang against the chicken and onions.

You can have this done in under an hour if you use store-bought pie crust, or make your pie crust the day before.
posted by elisebeth at 7:36 AM on December 28, 2010

Ina Garten's recipe for Beef Bourguignon is absolutely unstoppable in its deliciousness.
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 8:20 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Goulash! I've made this recipe serveral times. It's delicious.
posted by SoftRain at 9:53 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Manhattan Seafood Chowder (serves 4)

30 minutes prep time (or less)

1 pound frozen whitefish (cod, perch, monkfish, grouper all work well), individually frozen pieces, quickly defrosted in a warm water bath
1 7 & 1/2 oz can minced clams
2 3 oz can smoked oysters in olive oil
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (optionally, with Italian seasonings, basil, garlic, etc.)
1 15 oz can diced potatoes (or, 2 -3 medium russet potatoes, peeled, diced, and parboiled)
1 4.25 oz can chopped black olives
1 10 oz pack frozen mixed vegetables
1 medium sweet onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (or 1 tblsp prepared minced garlic in water)
3 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp flour
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1 tblsp cider vinegar
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup white vermouth (or other dry white wine)
1 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil, minced onion, and dry spices until onion is translucent. Add defrosted fish, and cook, while flaking fish with fork. As fish become done, add frozen mixed vegetables and canned smoked oysters, while continuing stirring with fork. As vegetables thaw/cook, add flour and dissolve in oil. Then, add minced clams in water, chopped olives, canned tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, and potatoes in quick succession, stirring all the while. Allow mixture to thicken, and come to full cooking temperature. Add vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and white wine, continuing stirring. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Salt to taste with sea salt.

Serve with oyster crackers, garlic bread, a small green salad and a decent white wine.
posted by paulsc at 1:24 PM on December 28, 2010

I had goulash at the Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh last week and it was the best. Alas, I don't know how to make it. Yet.
posted by oreofuchi at 2:46 PM on December 28, 2010

This can never go wrong. Ever.
posted by northxnorthwest at 11:31 PM on December 28, 2010

I'm not sure if you'd call this a stew exactly, but I'm amazed nobody here has mentioned Saucisses aux Lentilles. Feel free to experiment with the ratios of the mirepoix to the sausages to the lentils, but you absolutely must must must use French lentils. I also like cooking the lentil/mirepoix mix in chicken stock/broth as opposed to water. I have yet to try anything other than sweet Italian sausage - I think that spicy sausage would take this dish in a direction it's not meant to go, but I can easily see how someone else's palate would prefer a bit of a kick. Serve with grilled toast!

Continuing on the theme of sausage in your soup, this recipe for Sausage and Sauerkraut Soup is pretty basic and quite hearty, if sauerkraut is your thing. Not as good as the saucisses aux lentilles, but keeps well for quite a while.
posted by the painkiller at 8:48 PM on December 29, 2010

My father's Goulash
DL Swiderski, modified from Clayton's Complete book of soups and stews [Simon and Schuster, 1984]

3 Tbsp butter
1 med. sweet onion
4 cloves garlic
4 large carrots, sliced
1 tsp caraway
1 tsp thyme
3 lbs. stew beef
3 Tbsp paprika
1 can Italian tomatoes, chopped
3 large potatoes
1 bottle dark dry red wine

Melt about 3 tablespoons butter in stew pot, add onions, cover and sweat over medium heat.
After a few minutes, crush garlic, add to pot, and cover.
After another couple minutes, add the carrots, caraway and thyme, and cover.
After about 5 minutes add the meat and cover. Stir every few minutes. When all of the meat is browned, add paprika and stir well.
Add tomatoes and juice, simmer.
Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Add the potatoes, add enough red wine or water to cover, simmer for an hour or two until potatoes are done and sauce has started to thicken. Best if allowed to cool for a few hours or overnight before reheating to serve.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 12:39 PM on December 31, 2010

« Older Learning how to read: a primer   |   Better than the book! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.